The Luck of the South

Recipes For a Traditional Southern New Year’s Dinner

Traditions mark the passage of time. Family traditions are some of the best memory keepsakes. Growing up in the south, each New Year’s day was marked with resolutions and a special meal. My mother was adamant that we have the ‘good luck’ dinner on January 1. I invite you to try this southern tradition or to develop your own unique meal to kick off 2021. After all, everyone could use a little luck after 2020, and the superstition keeps the holiday light and fun.

New Year’s Day Dinner 

Baked Ham- a symbol of prosperity because pigs root forward.

Collard Greens- they represent green, folding money. Legend has it that they bring wealth and good fortune.

Black-Eyed Peas- symbols of coin money. 

Cornbread- it represents gold and, when coupled with the other dishes, a sure-fire way to build your finances in the new year!

Baked Ham

In the south, nothing beats a Honey Baked Ham. I remember standing in line for hours to pick up our perfectly sliced, delectably seasoned ham. No other ham would do. (Our closest store is off of Harmony in Fort Collins.)

Collard Greens 


2 bunches of Collard Greens

1 large yellow onion, diced 

1 red bell pepper, diced 

1 ham hock - these are found next to bacon and dried meats in the grocery store

Dash of tabasco sauce 


Don’t turn up your nose until you’ve tried this quick cooking version of a ‘mess ‘o greens.’ Take two bunches of collards cleaned, stems removed, and chiffonade (a preparation of shredded, leafy vegetables).To chiffonade, stack leaves, roll tightly, and slice into thin strips perpendicular to the roll. This allows the collard greens to cook quickly. 

Now it’s time to prepare your ham hock. Bring ham hock to boil for two hours, allowing water level to reduce significantly. Boil off most of the water to saute. Remove ham hock, water saute, onions, and bell pepper for 3-4 minutes before adding in the collard greens. Cook until wilted. Season with tabasco sauce and salt if desired. 

Black eyed Peas 


Salt cured pork browned in pot. Add water to cover pork. 

1 onion diced 

2 cloves garlic halved 

1 stalk celery 

16 oz black-eyed peas (fresh is best) 

Salt to taste

Boil the salt pork, onion, and garlic for half an hour. Add peas and cook until tender or desired consistency.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cornbread 


1 cup cornmeal 

1 cup Pamela’s baking mix (may use flour if not gluten-sensitive)

3 teaspoons of baking powder use 4 teaspoons if using regular flour   use 4 teaspoons if using regular flour.

½ t salt 

1 cup of almond milk (may use cow’s milk if not dairy-intolerant) 

1 large egg, slightly beaten 

¼ cup avocado oil, divided 

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat cast iron skillet in the oven with oil in it. Mix all ingredients. Carefully pour hot oil into the mix. Stir. Add batter to the hot skillet. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Serve with clarified butter or your favorite butter substitute and a drizzle of warmed molasses.

Kristy Hall is a Functional Epigenetic Nutritionist and the owner of Living Well Nutrition, The Center for Epigenetic Counseling. She helps individuals find freedom through health at her clinic in Loveland. Schedule your consultation today by visiting www.livingwellnutrition.com or by calling 970-966-8419.

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